The Irken Empire is an aggressive expansionist force headed by the war-like Irken race. The Irkens are bent on galactic conquest and, with the aid of their massive armada, they may actually achieve this goal. The co-ruling emperors of the Irken Empire are the Almighty Tallest, Red, and Purple.
The general history of the Irken Empire is mostly unknown, but by the time of the series is reasonably extensive, and both powerful and rich enough to engage in further plans for conquest.
Several allied species affiliated themselves with the Irken Empire, and numerous others were already subservient to them, serving in a number of single-task roles as each planet is given a singular purpose in the Empire. When Zim was born, he caused two periods of horrible blackouts on Irk.
During Zim's tenure as a scientist on Vort Research Station 9, then-Tallest Miyuki commissioned the Vortians for the design, and later building, of the Massive, shortly before being devoured by an infinite-energy-absorbing monster blob. The next Tallest, Tallest Spork, was also devoured by this same creature, when the monster returned the next day.
At some unknown point following this, the current Tallest ascended to the position, and eventually oversaw the beginning of Operation Impending Doom I. This plan was quickly foiled by Zim, who proceeded to destroy a large portion of Irk while commandeering a stolen Frontline Battlemech, having mistaken his home world for an enemy planet, blowing up the first generation of Invaders as well as a portion of the Irken military, and countless civilians and buildings that were likely important to the Irkens.
Shortly after Zim's re-encoding and banishment to Foodcourtia, the Tallest initiated Operation Impending Doom II, which following Zim's re-banishment to Earth, experienced mostly success, conquering a number of worlds including Blorch and Vort as well as three other planets as suggested in "Planet Jackers".
During the events of Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, Zim ordered his computer to hack into the Massive's computers to find out the Irken Army's flight plan, which revealed that due to the Tallest' laziness, all the planets marked for conquest are in a straight line.
Zim eventually teleported the Earth into the path of the Massive so that the planet would be the next target of the Irken Armada and as a side effect caused the creation of a Florpus Hole, even so the Tallest' could've easily avoided both Zim and their impending doom, they refused to change course as they believed doing so was too much of an effort and wasn’t "fun" and simply decided to blow up the Earth, taking Zim with it once and for all but not seeing the fact that they would still be dire danger despite being told numerous times by a Comms Officer.
As a result of their inaction, the status of Operation Impeding Doom II is currently unknown after the Almighty Tallest, as well as the whole Irken Armada, were sucked into a Florpus Hole, trapping them possibly forever in a dimension of fire in which they all became puppets and were left to suffer in agony, leaving the Irken Empire leaderless, albeit temporarily as the Irkens would possibly look for the next Tallest.
However if the cancelled two part season finale is considered canon, then there would've been a battle for Meekrob that was supposed to blow into all-out war against the Irken Empire when Invader Tenn was captured. The status of the Empire after this event, and Dib taking residence on Irk as a counter-Invader, is unknown, though at least one rumored plot outline apparently has Zim (aided by Gaz) taking over.
The Irkens are a bloodthirsty race, as Irkens have a superiority complex and feel a need to conquer other worlds. Because of this, the Empire has many enemies.
- Main article: The Resisty
The Resisty first appeared in "Backseat Drivers from Beyond the Stars" and it is an organization created to overthrow the Irken Empire, and the Resisty's members are presumably members of planets conquered by the Irken Empire.
The Resisty attempted to pierce a hole in the Massive's sidepods, which is full of snacks, and the ship's one weakness. However, they failed in this task, and merely succeeded in lasering "RESISTY ROCKS!!!" on the sidepods (which was then washed off).
They are later seen on the Irken snacking planet of Foodcourtia in "The Frycook What Came from All That Space" and they were scheduled to returned for the two part season finale and the TV movie "Invader Dib" presumably getting exiled to Saturn as punishment for planning genocide on the Irken race.
- Main article: Meekrob (species)
A common enemy of the Irken Empire is the Meekrob, a species made of pure energy. The Irken Empire and the Meekrob are currently in a war on their planet of the same name, but had the show continued we would have seen more of this war.
Smikka Smikka Smoodoo
- Main article: Smikka Smikka Smoodoo
Smikka Smikka Smoodoo of the Screwhead race attempts to start a rebellion against the Irken Empire, but the furthest he ever gets to starting one is switching the names on two packages. That may sound like nothing, but ironically, if the series had continued, would have had severe consequences: the malfunctioning SIR units originally intended for Zim would have been sent to Invader Tenn on planet Meekrob.
Once their package was opened, the psychotic robots wreaked havoc, causing Tenn to be exposed, and ultimately sparking a huge battle between the Meekrob and Irkens. This would have later built up to the untitled season two finale and the TV movie "Invader Dib".
The Membrane Family
While Dib is the main human enemy the Irken Empire has, both his sister and father have also proven to be imposing forces whether apart or together as seen in episodes like "Bloaty's Pizza Hog", "Future Dib" and especially Enter the Florpus. Since the Irkens are aware of the human race's lack of powerful technology, it's obvious they wouldn't consider the family much of a menace to their plans.
However, they are smarter than other humans, and thus they have proven to be formidable enemies as Dib has not only shown himself capable of using reverse-engineered Irken technology, but has also survived and in some cases won battles against Zim; Gaz has easily defeated Zim and helped stop his plans to conquer the Earth, but only seems to put an actual effort when she feels the Irken is an actual threat to the world.
As for Professor Membrane, he has been shown to be quite the redoubtable fighter and was able to use technology far more advanced than humans should be able to use, let alone comprehend, as he could use Minimoose albeit with some effort to put the planet back into its original place in the universe.
- Main article: Zim
Despite Zim being innocently loyal to the Empire, he is without a doubt its greatest enemy as he is a "defective" and obviously unstable as he has nearly destroyed all Irken civilization by mistaking Irk for an enemy planet, among other atrocities.
- Main article: Vort
The Irken Empire was originally in alliance with the Vortian race, who supplied the Irk with excellent technology. The Vortians designed the Massive, the flagship of the Irken Armada. However, Zim created an infinite energy-absorbing monster at Vort Research Station 9, which subsequently devoured Almighty Tallest Miyuki, and later Almighty Tallest Spork when it returned to get its collar back. This presumably ended the alliance between the Irken Empire and the Vortian race. Vort, recently conquered by Invader Larb, is now Irk's top military research prison.
- Main article: Blobs
The Irken Empire is presumably in alliance with Eric the Blob's species, as Eric installed a bio-scanner on the planet Vort when it had been conquered to make sure that no Vortians escaped. However, some did (presumably Captain Lard Nar of the Resisty) in trash cans. It is also possible that Eric's species were actually created by the Irkens.
- Main article: Planet Jackers (Species)
The Planet Jackers are one of the few races that the Irkens have not tried to directly conquer, nor were they forced into an unequal alliance with them like the Vortians (who were eventually conquered outright). They are practically one of the few races that has been shown to deal with the Irkens on more or less equal terms, signing the Irken - Planet Jacker Treaty with them which restricts the Planet Jackers from destroying planets marked for conquest by the Irkens.
- Main article: Hobo 13 (Planet)
The Irken Empire is presumably in alliance with the desert planet used for military training Hobo 13 as Irkens are welcomed, this is probably because the Hobo race seems to be incredibly tall and militaristic, which are aspects the Irkens seem to respect.
- Main article: Inquisitorians
The Inquisitorians first appeared in Issue 39 of the comic series. A race of mighty researchers, observers, and historians, Inquisitorians are allies with the Irken Empire, with whom they have signed an Irken-Inquisitorian treaty which outlined the permitted scope and jurisdiction of all Inquisitorian operations. It can be assumed that this treaty allowed Inquisitorians to do research within Irken territory.
- Conveyor Belt Planet
- Storage Planet
- Earth (Issue 12)
- Plim (Issue 43)
Facts of Doom
- It's unknown how big the Irken Empire is or how many planets it has acquired during its existence, but presumably most if not all of their home galaxy is under Irken rule.
- Despite the Irkens' plans for universal conquest, it is shown that they're not known throughout the entire universe, as Green and Blue are shown to be ignorant of their existence. Then again, considering how stupid Green and Blue are, they may not be the best indicator for this.
- Dib and Gaz are the only humans that know of the Irken Empire.
- Ironically, Tallest Red and Purple would've indirectly caused the Irken Empire's downfall since their hatred of Zim is what led to Invader Tenn's mission to be exposed to the Meekrob, who are the Irkens most powerful enemies.
- In a sketch plot Zim and Gaz would've taken over the Irken Empire at the end of the unmade TV movie "Invader Dib."
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